The United States will ship the first 25 million coronavirus vaccines to countries most in need, a quarter of the 80 million doses it will donate by the end of June. The White House announced this Thursday that more than six million will soon reach a dozen Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. The bulk of Washington’s donations will be distributed through Covax, the international platform created to ensure that all nations have doses, regardless of income level.
“As long as this pandemic continues in any part of the world, the American people will continue to be vulnerable,” said President Joe Biden on Thursday in a statement in which he added: “The United States is committed to providing the same urgency to international efforts to vaccination that we have demonstrated at home ”. The power country already has 41.5% of its population fully vaccinated and more than 63% of the adult population has received at least one dose.
Of the 25 million doses that the US will deliver first, nearly 19 million will be shared through Covax. Washington will send the remainder directly to countries “in need, those that experience an increase [de casos] Sudden, Immediate Neighbors ”and other countries that have requested US help. To select them, the Democratic government privileged the territories that prioritize the vaccination of people with a higher risk of serious disease and health workers.
Of the doses distributed through Covax, six million will go to South and Central America. The White House did not specify the volume that each country will receive, but the beneficiaries did: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other countries of the Caribbean Community. About seven million will be shipped to 15 countries in Asia, such as India, and about five million to Africa. Among the six million doses that Washington decided to donate on its own, Mexico, Canada and Gaza, among other territories, appear on the list of favored ones, in addition to the front-line workers of the United Nations.
The Biden Administration has been under pressure for months to share America’s billions of leftover doses. The donation announcements began as cases and deaths plummeted in the world powerhouse and the poorest countries faced new peaks. Washington’s collaboration with Covax comes at a time when the initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) has only shared 76 million of the 2 billion doses it intends to distribute among low- and middle-income countries.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.